Applewood Plumbing Heating & Electric names 10 teachers to receive $500

Applewood Plumbing Heating & Electric names 10 teachers to receive 0

Euclid Middle School’s Andrew Holcombe leads the jazz band at the CMEA conference. (provided by Applewood Plumbing)

Schools across the United States are short of teachers and staff, and Colorado is no different. With fewer resources, many of our Metro Denver teachers have paid for the subjects with their own money and devoted themselves to the students outside of their regular hours. Applewood Plumbing Heating & Electric recognized the need to show appreciation for teachers and wanted to give back with their Caring Community Giveaway.

Community nominations included large and small school districts for elementary, middle and high school teachers. From math to music to science and special projects, the Caring Community Giveaway Dollars will impact public and charter schools at all levels.

The 10 teachers who receive this bonus are:

Aly Barker/Birnbaum, a teacher at Grant Ranch K-8 School in Littleton, “takes time out of her personal life to support her students with extracurricular activities,” said one parent.

“This award means a lot to me because it validates the hard work I’ve put in here at school,” said Blu Bennett of Deer Creek Middle School in Littleton. He plans to use the money for teaching materials and project materials for the children.

Kathryn Canham, who teaches the special education program at Cherry Creek High School in Greenwood Village, shared that she plans to use the money to expand the school’s Unified Horticulture program. “My wish is to grow herbs, fruits and other vegetables in a greenhouse and have our business and art departments hold a plant sale or use what we grow in the culinary arts.”

“I’ve been working this year to develop my school’s first STEM program. It’s incredibly difficult to keep up with the cost of materials that students use to create, so this award means a lot to me,” said Kendra DeHay of Academy Charter School at Castle Rock.

Lucas Denman, who teaches mathematics at Littleton Academy, said: “To be recognized for my service as a teacher is a great honor and it feels great to know that the hard work I put into teaching is being recognized by community is appreciated.” Denman plans to use the money to fund fun activities, pay for math programs, and buy more classroom supplies.

A particularly notable nomination was Dominic Gosdzinski, who submitted the nomination as a fifth grade student at the Studio School in Northglenn. “Because it’s his first year teaching fifth grade, he doesn’t have a lot of supplies and bought them with his own money. He works really hard to make our classroom a quiet, comfortable and fun place to study. (He loves the color blue!)”

Dominic Gosdzinski with the fifth grader who nominated him.

A band director at Euclid Middle School in Littelton, Andrew Holcombe, said he would use the money to “buy some mouthpieces, ligatures, a sheet music and a classroom egg shaker set to use as study tools to Continue to provide children with the best learning environment I can.”

Two teachers from MESA at Thorton receive the award, the first being Elyse Houck, who, as one parent noted, “is amazing at bringing science to life. She runs many hands-on experiments and projects that engage the students.” Kristy Keithline “shares lunch with the students so she can provide extra help if needed or just have a safe place to talk.”

Last but not least, Jennifer Morris, a teacher at the STEM Lab in Northglenn, “loves every single one of her first years.”

Applewood’s Caring Community Giveaway has been donating to the community for more than 15 years, and this quarter’s $5,000 giveaway is making a difference for educators and students in the Denver area. To learn more about Applewood and its public relations, visit